13 Relationship Poltergeists (and How to Get Them the Hell Out of Your House)
The toothbrush is obvious—you get it out of there as soon as an ex first becomes an ex. But what about the indestructible spider plant you grew from his clippings, or the packet of curry you bought together for that recipe you never ended up trying? Or that box of ironic-but-not-completely Christmas ornaments he picked up from the Goodwill that you can't quite explain your inability to eBay away? While we all have the right to indulge in moments of wistfulness for the past (which memory so often sugar-coats), just remember, there's a reason why you two never ended up making that curry. So to speak.
The I-Can't-Believe-He-Said-That Thing He Said
So once—once—your spouse said, in a moment of madness, "Yes, yes I suppose your butt is, uh, slightly larger than Gisele's. But so what? I like it." Or else he happened to mention, late at night, after being severely overserved: "My friends all wanted me to marry her." You'd be forgiven for reading into it—well, if he said it once does that mean it's just been there in his mind waiting to bubble up to the surface?!—but if it's truly only come up once, consider this a moment of demonic possession, the voice not his own—and don't give it power it doesn't really deserve.
The Running Toilet of Eternal Despair
Every long-term relationship has that mysterious hinge, when the "How could he ever annoy me?" of new love turns into the "What about him isn't annoying?" of familiarity. So while you may think that some never-done household chore—the loose banister knob that comes off in your hand every time you go upstairs, the forever-running toilet your guests think is a babbling-brook sound machine—is the one thing keeping your household from peaceful equilibrium, consider that it might just be the receptacle of all your life frustrations. There's an easy solution: a handyman. If that's not possible, resolve to treat your partner with the patience and politeness you would a handyman you wanted to keep in your employ.
Ghosts in the Google
Internet-search histories are the new journals: You don't look at someone else's, and if you do (unless you've uncovered some illegal nefarious scheme), you are not allowed to be upset by what you've found. Relevant search terms: None / of / your / beeswax.
Next: The holiday spirit that prevents everyone from getting into the holiday spirit